2017 is coming to a close and its been a great year for the Idaho Virtual Reality Council. We are very thankful to all of our great members, partners and volunteers that supported us in meeting our goals. Speaking of that, we put over 10,000 Idahoans actively into virtual reality experiences in 2017! One of the best parts of evangelizing this technology to the community is seeing people experience it for the first time. We also saw a great push from Idaho based AR/VR companies as this market continues to surge.
One of our favorite end of the year events is the Festival of Trees. Idaho developer Blocksmith put together a great AR/VR experience that was one of the best attractions at the event. Leveraging their creation platform, Markus Nigrin and his team built a Yeti themed holiday environment for a snowball fight between a VR player logged in via HTC Vive and two AR players throwing snowballs via iPad stations. Entirely built within their Builder Software and enhanced with some downloadable assets, Vive players inhabited a giant Yeti protecting it's tower of presents by launching giant snowballs while iPad players took the form of Mini-Yeti's that tried to defeat the giant Yeti by throwing smaller, but more precise snowballs. It was great to see a cross-platform easy to learn and fun to play AR/VR experience, especially one incorporating real-time multiplayer elements. We're excited to see Blocksmith grow their platform and see the great applications people make with it.
The IVRC will continue to push awareness and education about AR/VR technology as it advances. We also look forward to supporting our members as they develop related products and services. Our state is moving forward quickly to establish itself as a leader in this market and we will be helping to push Idaho to the front of the pack. Happy New Year and we look forward to more great progress in 2018!